Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Working for the pleasure of God

Hobbies are things we do passionately in our free time for fun. People of all ages have their favorite hobbies that they like to invest their time in because it gives them happiness, relaxation and an opportunity to learn. Considering how much we enjoy engaging in our hobbies, is there a way we can make them a part of our spiritual growth?

Shree Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita said:

          यत्करोषि यदश्नासि यज्जुहोषि ददासि यत् |
             यत्तपस्यसि कौन्तेय तत्कुरुष्व मदर्पणम् || 27||

 "Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer as oblation to the sacred fire, whatever you bestow as a gift, and whatever austerities you perform, O son of Kunti, do them as an offering to me." (Bhagavad Gita 9.27)

This implies that whatever activity we perform, we should mentally offer it to God. Now, whenever we perform any activity there are 2 aspects to it:

 1) The external activity we do.
 2) Our internal attitude towards it. 

We could perform the same mundane activity with different consciousness and that makes all the difference. If an activity is performed by a worldly-minded person to increase his own comfort, wealth or fame, he gets bound by both good and bad karmic reactions. His karmic reactions result in his continuity in the cycle of life and death. Whereas, if a spiritually minded person performs the same activity for the pleasure of his beloved Lord, he renounces selfishness. Thus he is freed from the fretters of good and bad results.

A person who dedicates all his actions in the service to God becomes united in consciousness with God. Such a yogi becomes liberated in consciousness even in this body. And, upon leaving his mortal frame, receives a divine body and eternal service in the divine abode of God.

Thus by simply changing our internal attitude toward everything we do, we can reap great spiritual benefits. By transforming our internal attitude, we can transform even the mundane activities of material life into divine service of God. Therefore, let's take a step towards this transformation by dedicating all our hobbies to God. Earlier we engaged in our hobbies because it made us happy; now let us do them so that we can make the Lord happy.

Friday, October 6, 2017

It's time you take charge of your Destiny!

It is true that we are born with a destiny but is it correct to say that everything that happens in our life is governed by destiny? If we think that destiny cannot be changed that is the doctrine of fatalism. It leads to an attitude of resignation and passivity that results from the belief that people are helpless against fate.

Let us assume that everything is predestined. Then it must mean that in our past countless lives we did not perform actions by our free will as everything was predestined. But then what determined our destiny in the present life? Logically we must have performed actions with our free will in some past life. If we did so in a past life, we can do them now as well.

We humans are bound by the law of karma, but understand the principle of free will through the example of the bow and arrow in archery. The accumulated stock of arrows in the archer's case slung over his shoulder is the sañchit karma. Similar to this is our stock of karmas from past endless lifetimes. A part of the sañchit karma, is the prārabdh karma that we have to bear in this life. Therefore the arrow that has just left the archer's bow is the prārabdh karma and the arrow in the hand at the moment is kriyamāṇ karma, this is the karma we are free to perform in this life. The archer can decide not to use this arrow, or he can choose to use it either to protect the weak or to harass them. Thus while prārabdh karma is something which cannot be undone and we have to enjoy or suffer its fruits in this life, we have free will available in the form of kriyamāṇ karma. 

Right here in the present moment you possess the free will to perform actions that elevate your consciousness to sublime heights or perform actions that degrade you to demonic existence. The choices that you make in the face of adversity or favorable situations are your own. For this reason, the scriptures say that it is lazy people who blame destiny for their substandard achievements:

Ramayana says - ''While working, don't bring destiny into your mind, or it will make you lazy." If you do, you will start running to astrologers to know what your destiny is, rather than focusing on performing your work properly.

It is a fact that there is an element of destiny. But that should not bother you because God has also bestowed the power of free will to you. You possess the freedom to act as you wish. If you were destined to win a jackpot of a million dollars, you will win it. But beyond that, it is your self-effort. If you work hard, you could multiply it into ten million dollars, and if you develop profligate habits, you could squander it away in drinking and gambling. That would not be decided by destiny; that would be your own puruśhārth or self-effort.

Always remember these words of an Urdu poet,

खुदी को कर बुलंद इतना कि हर तक़दीर से पहले,
खुदा खुद बन्दे से पूछे बता तेरी रज़ा क्या हैं। 

"Make your efforts so strong, that before giving you the results of your destiny, God himself asks you what you want."

Next Blog Article:- Carelessness leads to Downfall of a Devotee!

Monday, September 18, 2017

What determines the Destiny!

 The sheer mystery of how future events unfold intrigues everyone. It is this anxiousness to determine the pattern of future events that drives us to face readers, tarot card readers and palmists. These astrologers reveal the glimpses of our destiny, the things that we will experience in the future.

Now let's say someone hit a jackpot and become an overnight millionaire while someone else lost all his fortune in a stock market crash. In ordinary life, we will attribute both these differing events to destiny. But then the primary question arises if people are destined to experience such events in life, who decides the course of our destiny?

People are of different opinions, some believe that destiny is thrust upon us by an inscrutable power; others believe destiny is a result of our past karmas, while many others believe that destiny is a fallacy of the human mind. Let us understand the concept of destiny through the help of Scriptures. The Hitopdesh states in this context:

"The actions we performed in our past lives become our destiny in this life."

This clearly means that destiny is not something that has come down from the heavens or a horoscope chart that is revealed to us by the astrologers. We have created our destiny ourselves by actions in past births. It is the 'Law of Karma' that determines our destiny in the present life. The law of Karma however is quite complex.

To start with there are three kinds of karmas: sañchit, prārabdh and kriyamāṇ. God has an account of all our karmas in endless lives. This is called sañchit karmas. At the time of birth, we are given a portion of our sañchit karmas, to enjoy or suffer in this life. This is called prārabdh karmas. The prārabdh is fixed, but within this life, we have a freedom to act, and the actions we perform are called kriyamāṇ karma. The kriyamāṇ is not pre-determined; it is in our hands and can be changed as we wish.

Now the results we get in life are dependent on a number of factors, including: 
1. Our prārabdh karmas.
2. Our kriyamāṇ karmas. 
3. The Will of God. 
4. The karma of other people present in that situation. 
5. Chance events in which we happen to be present by accident.

Since we humans are not all-knowing, we cannot fully correlate the results we get with the exact causes behind them. We ignorantly take a myopic view of the results of our present karma and feel bogged down. For example, we notice sometimes that a good person fails and an unscrupulous person prospers. It seems that the law of karma or destiny is not fair and just to humans. But the fact is that the law of karma keeps an account of our past endless lifetimes. Therefore, the good person was not always good; the bad person was not always bad.

"Life is like playing a game of cards. The hand that is dealt to you gets fixed, that is your destiny. But how you play with the cards is not fixed, that's your self-effort."

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Importance and Specialty of the Kirtans written by Shree Maharajji.

Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj

  Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj has written thousands of inspiring verses revealing the Divine pastimes of Radha Krishna. His style of writing is unique in the entire history of saints. First, he begins the chanting of a pada or kīrtan, and as the kīrtan progresses, he keeps adding lines to it, finally bringing it to a consummate close. In glorification of Shree Radha Krishna devotion, he has named one of his principal creations as "Prem Ras Madirā," or "Divine Love Intoxicant." One is lost for words to describe the intensity and greatness of the padas and kīrtans written by Shree Maharajji. It is only by singing the divinely intoxicating kīrtans that we can get a glimpse of the unfathomable Divine love that pours out from the heart of a true devotee of Shree Radha Krishna. 

  The kīrtans conducted by Shree Maharajji are famous for the fervent intensity of devotion that they create in the minds and hearts of the sincere follower, forever binding him or her to the path of God-realization. Whenever Shree Maharajji graces the prayer and Sādhanā hall, the kīrtans reach a feverish pitch as the Lord's names and pastimes are sung in unison by ecstatic voices across the floor. These highly charged kīrtans mesmerize even the most phlegmatic of people, drawing them ever closer to Shree Radha Krishna.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Let us remember what our Guru has taught us?

Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj

He himself had taught us to practice the presence of God and Guru with us at all times. In concurrence with his teachings, let us remain steadfast in the conviction that, although we cannot see him with our material eyes, he continues to stay in our midst, noting our every thought and action, and showering his grace as we strive to walk the path he revealed to us. 

     We should strongly reaffirm our resolve to implement his every Instruction for purifying our hearts and for pushing forward his mission. This is the most befitting way of showing our respect to him

     What they have given to humankind during their stay in our world can never be sufficiently eulogized in words; the whole planet shall remain indebted to them for their gift of Love. We offer our respectful obeisances unto our Spiritual Master Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj, who has opened our eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance, with the torchlight of knowledge.

Happy Guru Poornima!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Is there some way of knowing how far we have succeeded in our Spiritual Journey?

It is not easy to judge, only God and our Guru can truly know how much we have advanced. However, a simple parameter, which can give us some idea, is to see how much our mind has gotten detached from the world and the extent to which it has gotten attached to God. This is a simple rule of thumb to measure our advancement.

Do a reading of yourself. When you suffer reversals in the world, how upset do you become? If you find that earlier, you would keep brooding when someone insulted you, but now you are able to forget it in an hour's time, then you can conclude that you are progressing; your mind is becoming detached from the world, and your spiritual power is increasing; hence, you are able to remain normal in any circumstances.

Again, analyze how much does your mind yearn for a spiritual association. If earlier, whenever you had free time, you wished to spend it in seeing movies, but now you seek opportunities to sing devotional kirtans, it is a sure sign that you are progressing and that your mind is getting attached to the spiritual realm.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

How to get peace of mind when someone has wronged us to no end?

This material world is like the prison house of God; souls who have turned their backs towards him have been put here.  So, we cannot expect the people of this world to behave like Saints. There will always be persons who will come to cheat us, and on some occasions, they may even succeed.  That is life; we all get cheated once in a while.  But the important thing is to learn to take it in our stride.  That is where the quality of forgiveness comes in.
If we continue to harbor resentment towards those who have wronged us, we will be unable to progress spiritually. Resentment acts like a poison on the mind, filling it with bitterness. And we keep reliving the sour experience within, pinned down to the past. Someone aptly said: "Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die."     
On the spiritual path, we must be careful not to nurture ill feelings towards anyone, realizing that they will harm us more than anyone else.  Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says:
भूलिहुँ दुर्भावना कहुँ, हो न सपनेहुँ प्यारे।  (साधना करू प्यारे )
"Even in your dreams, do not make the mistake of harboring ill-will towards anyone."   
Forgiveness is a sublime personality trait that immediately releases all bitterness from the mind. It is a favor we do, not to the other person, but to ourselves. The lives of saintly people are full of inspiring stories of how they forgave their wrongdoers, and even succeeded in winning them over by their love.  
A person made an attempt on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, while he was living in South Africa. Mahatma Gandhi refused to hate the man. He said, "I shall love him, and win his love." One year later, that same man came and apologized to before Mahatma Gandhi, and wept for forgiveness. This is the characteristic of great personalities; they refuse to allow their minds to dwell on hatred towards anyone. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Many a times in our Life we come across so many mishappenings with us, during those conditions we actually do not realize the grace of God but after somewhere we realize that it was for the betterment of us. Then how can we realize the grace of God during those unfavourable conditions?

Well that is Positive Thinking that you see a positive aspect in everything. We want situations to be favorable to us always! and when situations are not favorable then our natural reactions are like as you said we start getting panic.

However if we bring this piece of knowledge in mind at that time that an unfavorable situation is an opportunity to rise higher.

Swami Vivekananda said "Life is a continuously unfoldment of a being under circumstances tending to press it downwards". So whenever there is an unfavorable situation if we look on it as an opportunity, as a stepping stone then we can see it as a grace of God and that is the secret of seeing situations as graces of God.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

How to get relieved of stress permanently?

We experience stress because we want certain outcomes, situations and results. However, the soul is not independent, and it is not within its ability to fulfill all of the desires. By nature, the soul is a servant of God. Now, what is the duty of the servant? To fulfill the wishes of the master. If we surrender to God and think whatever He does is for our welfare, this attitude of surrender will help us get rid of stress. A surrendered soul says:

राज़ी हैं उसी मैं जिसमें तेरी रज़ा है। 
यूँ भी वाह वाह है त्यों भी वाह वाह है ।।

   "I am happy in Your happiness. Whatever situation You put me in, I will blissfully accept it." Thus, stress is a symptom of lack of our submission to the Will of God. When we experience stress, the best medicine to cure it is to increase our level of surrender. 

   Now, what is the problem in increasing the level of surrender? Worldly attachments! We keep on pondering, "This should happen this way; that should happen that way." That is the main hurdle to complete surrender. For achieving that goal, we need to increase our detachment from the world.
   Before God-realization, there will always be some amount of tension within everyone, because the extent of surrender will not be one-hundred percent. However, by giving us tension, God signals to us that something is wrong and we need to correct it by surrendering further to Him. This is just as when we put our hand in the fire, we feel pain. What would happen if we did not feel the pain? Our hand would burn without our knowing it. The feeling of pain is, in fact a form of Grace. It is a signal that something is wrong, and that must take the hand out. Similarly, stress is a signal that we need to increase our surrender and devotion to God.

     A spiritual doctor will prescribe you the medicine of submitting to God for getting rid of stress, whereas a material doctor will give you all kinds of medicinal drugs. However, such drugs will not help eradicate the root cause of stress. By increasing the level of surrender, the source of stress will itself be eradicated. Shree Krishna states in the famous verse:

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भुर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि 
                                                                                 (Bhagavad Gita 2.47)

     "Work with full dedication. Do not be careless while performing your tasks. But do not get attached to the fruits of those works."

Shree Krishna again says:

योगिनः कर्म कुर्वन्ति संगं त्यक्त्वात्मशुद्धये 
                                                         (Bhagavad Gita 5.11)

     "A yogi is one who can work without any attachment to the results." If we follow this formula, stress will be abolished from its roots.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Importance of Human Life!

This human form is like a full moon night which will soon be over, and again the dark night will come. You are sleeping in ignorance, unaware of the fact that the passage of time is continuously shortening your life. You are not willing to leave your sleep, even though you are perpetually being beaten by the objects of your desires.
Once the opportunity to redeem yourself in this human form is missed, you will have to rotate in the cycle of life and death in 8.4 million forms of life. Then you will rub your hands helplessly and regret. Kripaluji Maharaj says, ”Listen to the words of rasik saints and surrender to the lotus feet of the merciful divine couple, ’Radha Krishna’.”

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